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Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand missed out as Chelsea captain John Terry was included in the squad

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England manager Roy Hodgson has insisted that he included John Terry instead of Rio Ferdinand because of footballing reasons.

Terry was selected despite the July court case awaiting him regarding allegations that he racially abused QPR defender Anton Ferdinand, which the Blues defender denies.

“If we take the court case first of all, that’s obviously very unfortunate for him but we must emphasise he is an innocent man until such time as he is proven guilty,” Hodgson said.

“My decision with John Terry was based purely on footballing matters, I was given a free hand as to the squad I picked.

“I realised that when I selected him there would be people who would raise eyebrows but that’s the decision that I’ve made, that’s the decision I shall live with.”

He continued: “I selected John Terry for footballing reasons and I left out Rio Ferdinand for footballing reasons.

“I’ve spoken to both of them of course. I had to do that.

“In the last couple of days I’ve spoken to both of them and explained to them why I’ve come to the decision.”

The former West Brom boss believes that Terry has played well during the second half of the season while Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson doubted Rio’s ability to play every four days.

“I believe John Terry, especially in the latter part of the season, has played very well,” Hodgson added.

“I know you’ll say he shouldn’t have done what did in Barcelona but I’m looking over a longer period that that.

“I think he’s played well, I think he played an important part in Chelsea’s FA Cup final victory, an important part in their reaching the Champions League final and so therefore I selected him because I think he’s the man for job. I’m hoping and believing that he will help us win matches.”

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Arsenal

Nickname: The Gunners.

Ground: Emirates Stadium (capacity 60,361).

Founded: 1886.

Honours: First Division (until 1992) and Premier League: 1931, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1938, 1948, 1953, 1971, 1989, 1991, 1998, 2002, 2004.

FA Cup: 1930, 1936, 1950, 1971, 1989, 1991, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2005.

League Cup: 1987, 1993.

Fairs Cup: 1970.

Cup Winners’ Cup: 1994.

Leading goalscorer: Thierry Henry, 228.

Leading appearances: David O’Leary, 722.